Answering the Emerge-n-See Call

"Just because we've had a wake up call
is no cause for alarm."
--Swami Beyondananda

There's an old Chinese curse: "May you live in interesting times." And they say the Chinese have no sense of humor. Ha! Well, the times got very interesting in 2001, especially around 911. Our hearts go out to those who responded to the emergency call with courage and clarity. But, as the Swami has said, that is just the first step. "If we really want to get the most out of this situation, we must answer the emerge n' see call as well." And to help us do just this, Swami has taken time out of his busy schedule (he's furiously working on a series of blank meditation tapes to help us really clear our minds in these stressful times), and answer some questions us on the current State of the Universe:

SWAMI: I understand I am wanted for questioning. Well, go ahead... shoot. In the figurative sense only, of course.

US: Okay, Swami. How can we keep from feeling stressed out and fearful in these uncertain times?

SWAMI: Well, the way I look at it, the only thing certain in life is uncertainty. So if you put your faith in this uncertainty, the more uncertain things get, the more certainty you will feel. Ah, you will say, this is totally unpredictable -- just as I predicted it would be. And it cannot hurt to relax a little bit. Just because we've had a little wake up call is no cause for alarm. And if we're gonna be woken up, we may as well wake up laughing, right? And leave laughter in our wake. Because laughter is a tried-and-tested emerge n' see treatment that helps us emerge from the darkness and see the light. When we let the bells of laughter ring, we are pealing away fears and frustrations ... and reminding ourselves of what we love in life.

US: To change the subject a little bit, what about this war on terrorism? Can killing people actually bring about peace?

SWAMI: Well, in the short run, absolutely. Killing is a time-honored form of pacification. Ghosts notwithstanding, I don't think you can find anything more peaceful than a dead person. But at some point, the Martial Plan must transform into a Marshall Plan, otherwise we will indeed have peace on earth -- but no human beings left to enjoy it.

US: How about the peace movement?

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SWAMI: I have to say, this entire situation has been a challenge for the peace crowd. I mean, it's hard to give peace a chance when you're dealing with folks who think an olive branch is something you poke somebody in the eye with. To someone who sees nonviolence as a sign of weakness, nonviolence simply begets more violence. To them, it's like taking Gandhi from a baby. But there's still a way for peace proponents to get their goomba-yayas out. And that is to keep reminding everyone that if war is a necessary evil, then peace is a necessary good. And if we want the good goods more than the bad goods, we must be prepared to put more of our resources into creation than destruction. And the best way to do that is by supporting the alter native economy -- any product or service that alters us natives for the better ... support it. For example, if you're getting lots of value from a particular web site ... buy there. Now is the time to put your money where your mouse is. Like everything else, patriotism has its season -- but dying for something ... well, frankly there's no future in it. So the peace movement must help the world keep its eye on the real prize. It must plant and cultivate the seeds of what we are living for -- this is our spiritual victory garden.

US: Finally, Swami, this is the beginning of the year. Any predictions, particularly regarding the so-called New World Order?

SWAMI: Actually, I don't believe in predictions. Predictions are ... too predictable. If we really want to create a better reality, my suggestion is turn of the TV -- and tell-a-vision instead. And then put yourself into the picture. For if we really want a New World Order, we have to fill out and send in our New World Order Form. As my beloved guru Harry Cohen Baba used to say, "Life is like a good deli. It doesn't matter what's on the menu. If enough people order something ... they gotta make it."

Copyright 2002 by Steve Bhaerman. All rights reserved.

To hear Swami's State of the Universe Address in its entirety, go to


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